Football with pre-fasting meal makes for good time

Sembawang GRC MP Amrin Amin joining volunteers to hand out mee goreng to the 100 fans gathered for the opening game.
Sembawang GRC MP Amrin Amin joining volunteers to hand out mee goreng to the 100 fans gathered for the opening game.ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

For the 100 football fans who were at Woodlands Community Club's (CC) screening of the Euro 2016 opening match between France and Romania, not only did they watch the game for free, they were treated to a meal in a night of bonding over the Beautiful Game.

With the action unfolding at the Stade de France, the football lovers were surprised with packets of mee goreng and teh tarik distributed by club volunteers.

Sembawang GRC Member of Parliament Amrin Amin chipped in to pass the meals around and chatted with the fans.

Mr Amrin, who also joined the residents to watch France win 2-1, said: "What better way is there than to watch football with your kakis (friends)? It's a throwback to the kampung days when everyone would gather around and enjoy themselves.

"Sports is a great connector of people and it's also coincidental that it's the fasting period. The Muslims are able to have their pre-dawn meal alongside the non-Muslims - something that is quite rare to see."

Woodlands resident Nur Hasif was grateful the pre-dawn meal was taken into consideration for the live screening.

The 27-year-old said: "It's great the CC made efforts to provide all of us - Muslims and non-Muslims - food and refreshment for our sahur (pre-dawn meal during the Muslim fasting month)."

"Usually, sahur is done at home but it's rare for a situation like this to occur where a large group of people can get together to watch football and have a meal together."

A total of 1,500 people attended yesterday morning's screening at 24 CCs across Singapore.

For Woodlands resident Shakir Ramli, the $88 charged by the telcos for the broadcast packages is too costly and the public screenings are a good alternative.

The 34-year-old taxi driver said: "The Euros and other international football tournaments are always so expensive but I still am very keen on watching these top-level matches. These free CC screenings are just perfect.

"It's good that Woodlands and the other CCs around Singapore are doing their part to bring us fans entertainment."

Admiralty resident Marcus Chia, a 22-year-old Nanyang Polytechnic student, added: "I can't watch the match at home because the package is quite pricey for me and since the CC was nearby, I came here.

"Besides, the atmosphere here makes it even more exciting."

A total of 32 CCs will screen matches throughout the tournament. For more information, visit www.pa.gov.sg/Our_Programmes/Community_Sports/Football_Live_Screening_at...

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 12, 2016, with the headline 'Football with pre-fasting meal makes for good time'. Print Edition | Subscribe